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Meet Our Team

Executive Team

Name: Laone Kishman

Laone Kishman | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Managing Partner

Laone has spent over 33 years in the Human Service field in multiple programs and disciplines. Laone helped found Families First Counseling Services over 15 years ago with the beliefs that children do best when they live in positive family environments, community based services are effective in helping families be happy and healthy and quality of service to the customer is paramount in creating an organization that is successful in a dramatically changing service environment.

Laone's primary responsibilities with the agency include Mental and Behavioral Health Services Director and Information Technology oversight.  At a state level Laone serves as a Board Member for the Coalition for Family and Children’s Services in Iowa and is part of the Iowa Association of Community Providers.

 

Name: Rick Venenga

Rick Venenga | Families First Counseling Serives

Job Title: Managing Partner

Rick has over 35 years’ experience working and managing different human service programs in Iowa. Rick helped establish Families First in 2002 with the belief that quality in-home supportive services is the beginning of assisting families to become healthy, contributing members of society. Rick is one of two dedicated Managing Partners who are active in the Coalition for Family and Children Services in Iowa, participates in the growth and development in Iowa's Child Welfare programs and advocates for better legislation for all areas regarding children and families well-being.

Rick is an active leader within the agency providing consultation to staff in group and individual supervision and conducting direct staff development and training. Rick is also responsible for daily financial operations of the agency, supervises the agency Child Welfare Contracts, and is part of the human resource team.

 

Name: Jennifer Steinbronn

Jenifer Steinbronn at Families First Counseling CenterJob Title: Quality Performance Director

Jennifer has been with Families First since 2007 managing all QA/QI responsibilities for all programs the agency provides to the community and to our stakeholders.  Jennifer provides oversight to the infrastructure for the agency in developing, implementing, and maintaining quality systems for service delivery and compliance with regulatory entities.  Along with the Executive Team, Jennifer utilizes the agency’s Strategic Plan incorporating continual partnerships with public/private entities to ensure that child safety and well-being are top priorities when developing quality service to each one of families we serve. 

 

Name: Katie Henniges
Katie Garnier | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Eastern Regional Director

Katie has over 20 years of experience in the human service field and has been employed with Families First since June 2005. Katie provides support and direction to supervisors and direct care staff through group and individual supervision to ensure quality services are being delivered to those families served by Families First. Katie is a Trainer for Permanency Round Tables and is an approved statewide Trainer for Family Team Decision Making Meeting and Youth Transition Decision Making Meetings. Katie has also facilitated trainings in partnership with the Iowa Department of Human Services for supervisors and direct care staff across Iowa. These topics have included but are not limited to: Family Interactions, Engaging Non-Custodial Parents in Child Welfare, Placement Stability and Quality Case Visits in Child Welfare.

 

Name: Angie Freiburger
Katie Garnier | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Cedar Rapids Regional Manager

Angie has over 17 years of experience in the Child Welfare field and has been employed with Families First Counseling since June of 2015.   Angie is currently our Cedar Rapids North Regional Director and provides oversight to the Child Welfare Supervisors and Family Team Meeting Facilitators.  Her prior experience includes in-home work with children and families, supervision of front line staff, serving on numerous local & State-wide committees, facilitating Family Team Meetings along with Administration duties within the public and private sector of Child Welfare.  

 

 

Name: Natalie Clapp
Katie Garnier | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Northern Regional Director

Natalie has been with Families First since 2016 as our Northern Service Area Regional Director and has over 20 years of child welfare experience. Prior to joining our Executive Team, Natalie worked with foster/adoptive families through other local human service agencies providing various services and Department of Human Services as a Supervisor covering 27 counties that included 8 programs.  Natalie provides oversight to our child welfare services in 27 counties, participates in partnership with private and public agencies, judicial system, and works closely with the Executive Team and Leadership Team to ensure that the quality of service delivery meets the needs of the agency and other regulatory entities.

 

Name: Sharon Durnin

Sharon Durnin | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Office/Billing Manager

Sharon has been with Families First since 2004 and has over 20 years of Office Management experience. Sharon is responsible for maintaining daily operations in the Waterloo Families First office. Sharon provides direct oversight to the Administrative Assistants and billing support to the Care Coordinators in the service delivery area. Sharon manages all aspects of billing and staff payroll.

 

 

Name: Nicole Winther

Nicole Winther | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Clinical Director

Nicole is our Clinical Director and is responsible for our agency’s licensing and accreditation. With over 20 years’ experience in the field, Nicole brings to the team a wide variety of skills and experiences ranging from direct service to program development and management and performance and quality improvement.  Nicole obtained her LISW in 2015 and currently oversees all of our therapists across Eastern Iowa.  She practices from a trauma-informed, strengths-based and holistic perspective, believing that success comes when we join with our clients to achieve their desired outcomes.

 

Name: Amy Muller

Nicole Winther | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: Medicaid Manager

Amy has a Master’s of Science Degree and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Amy has been in the Human Services field since 2007 and has been practicing individual, family, and couples therapy since 2013. Amy joined the Executive Team at Families First in 2016 to enhance, grow, and promote the Counseling, Support and Education Services. These services include Medicaid supported programs including In-Office Therapy, Behavioral Health Intervention Services, Integrated Health Home, and Child Mental Health Waiver Services. 

 

Name: Barbara K. Rundle

Nicole Winther | Families First Counseling SerivesJob Title: HR Manager

Barb has over 20 years of experience in the human resource field and has been employed with Families First since September 2015. Barb provides support and direction to the Managing Partners, Regional Directors, Supervisors, and employees by ensuring compliance with local, state and federal regulations related to Human Resources.  Her primary responsibilities are onboarding new hires and managing employee benefits.  She works closely with the Executive Team to ensure goals and objectives are met in accordance with the Council on Accreditation and Department of Labor.  She chairs the HR PQI Committee and co-facilitates the monthly Administrative Staff meetings.   

 

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Families First Advisory Board

Executive Team

Executive Team